Debra Prinzing

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Episode 437: What makes a Trend? Join me in a creative conversation with Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Colin Gilliam as we plan the upcoming Trend Summit 2020

January 22nd, 2020

A late December 2019 planning session for Trend Summit — held at Hitomi Gilliam’s home. Clockwise from top left: Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Debra Prinzing. (c) Colin Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, is a Vancouver, B.C.-based floral design educator and innovator, as well as a fellow contributor to Florists’ Review. In 2011, she launched a collaborative, inclusive conference called Trend Summit, designed as an immersive trend discussion led by a team of influencers, covering a variety of topics including wedding flower trends. 

Trend Summit has taken place every two or three years since, mostly in Vancouver (with one year being held in Dallas). The Summit has grown and evolved to the point where it’s almost a full week with numerous floral design workshops and demonstrations — all sorts of ways to draw you in, engage you and connect you. This year it takes place March 12-17, 2020, at United Floral, where the famed Vancouver Flower Auction is based outside Vancouver.

Listen to Hitomi Gilliam as she discusses Trend Summit and how trends take shape.

Hitomi is one of those rare individuals who shares the spotlight and platform with her peers, her students, and her contemporaries. In 2018, she invited me to present the Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast for 2019 during the Trend Summit Symposium a one-day session open to the larger floral community in B.C. and beyond. It was such a great experience and truly an honor to be given a place at the podium in what some might consider the mainstream floral community. I was so touched that Hitomi shined a light on my work with Slow Flowers, adding sustainability, floral sourcing and eco practices to the conversation!

For 2020, there are so many events and activities planned. To kick it off on March 12th and 13th, the Trend Roundtables focus on a variety of themes important to the future of floristry. This is an opportunity to be introduced to some of the newest product from participating vendors and growers, who will also be in the discussion. In addition to Hitomi, I will join Gregor Lersch, Holly Chapple, Susan McLeary, Françoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Colin Gilliam for this riveting event.

We took in the inspiring natural beauty on a Bowen Island hike one afternoon, too!!

With Hitomi, Colin, Rebecca and Francois in early December, we spent two full days brainstorming the roundtable format. We sat in the cozy living room of Hitomi’s delightful home on Bowen Island, which is located a short ferry ride across Horseshoe Bay north of Vancouver. With a view of water, mountains, trees and nature, it was a working session that doubled as an unforgettable retreat.

We cooked up some of the key topics that will seed the conversations at the Conference: botanicals, hardgoods and accessories, lifestyle shifts, wedding styles, as well as emerging floral design styles.

I think you’ll love hearing our dialogue and perhaps you will be tempted to join us in March.

You might want to attend Thursday Night, March 12th, when Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute will present her insights on color, or on Sunday when all these fabulous design innovators will present during the Symposium.

Quickly, here’s a bit more about the guests you’ll hear in my conversation today:

Teacher, mentor, floral industry leader Hitomi Gilliam (c) Colin Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese-Canadian floral artist, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is the Creative Director for DESIGN358. She has guest-designed extensively throughout North America, England, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Belgium, Korea and India.

She owned and operated Satsuki’s Florist in Mission, British Columbia for 28 years. She currently works with her son, Colin Gilliam in an Event & Education business, DESIGN358 which was established 10 years ago.

Hitomi has lectured at major art museums and floral shows around North America and beyond, and she is the founding organizer of the Annual ‘Survival of the Creative Minds’ Conference in Taos, New Mexico.

Inspiring florist and floral educator Francoise Weeks (c) Jamie Bosworth photograph

Françoise Weeks, born in Belgium, has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.

Francoise Weeks discusses ‘Plants are Trending’ in the run-up to Trend Summit 2020

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to the Flower School Cohim in China, the Academy of Floral Art in Exeter, England, studios in Australia and Mexico, workshops at Mayesh and Florabundance and to the La Jolla and Memphis garden clubs. Her dynamic work has been published in Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Her generosity of knowledge and perspective in use of floral materials, structure and mechanics, in addition to the business of being a florist, unite to create rigorous and exciting learning opportunities for her students to explore all that nature has to offer.

Rebecca Raymond, EMC, floral artist and educator

Rebecca Raymond, EMC, is owner of Rebecca Raymond Floral. She is one of the most respected and sought-after floral designers in the Pacific Northwest.

Rebecca collaborates closely with each of her clients, gets to know their hopes and dreams, and then works with color, texture, and architecture to bring their vision to life. Whether it’s a bridal bouquet or a floral installation, she sources both seasonal and curated fresh flowers to design beautiful, eclectic arrangements that reflect the moment and create memories to last a lifetime. As a member of organizations at the cutting edge of floral design, including Chapel Designers, she has access to a network of leading designers and ongoing professional development – and Rebecca is always looking for the latest and best techniques and design ideas for my clients.

Colin Gilliam

Colin Gilliam, partner with Hitomi Gilliam in Design358 and owner of Colin Gilliam Photo + Design, has been photographing flowers for more than a decade. His work has been published in numerous books, as well as in Florists’ Review and Fleur Creatif Magazine.

I had a chance to discuss my thoughts about Trends during a recent conversation with Hitomi

Clarity in 2020 is knowing where we are at and where we want to go.

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, founder of Trend Summit 2020

Hitomi, Francoise and Rebecca have all been guests on the Slow Flowers Podcast. Here are links to those episodes:

Episode 339 (March 7, 2019): Hitomi Gilliam

Episode 217 (October 28, 2015): Francoise Weeks

Episode 184 (March 11, 2015): Rebecca Raymond joined my interview with Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals

Registration continues for Slow Flowers Summit and we’re nearly 50% sold out, which is amazing to me! Please join me on June 28-30th and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

Emily Saeger, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Molly Culver — Slow Flowers Summit panelists

You can also find a link to a fabulous new Q&A with Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers, Emily Saeger from Filoli’s horticulture team, and Kellee Matsushita-Tseng from UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems — all three will be part of a panel at the Summit that we’re calling Sustainable Farming x Floral Design.
Writer Lyz Perry, who has joined the Summit as a freelance contributor to our blog, conducted an extensive interview with these inspiring women. Check it out — this will be part of an ongoing series with interviews featuring all of our speakers.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 568,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:

Heartland Flyer; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

2 Responses to “Episode 437: What makes a Trend? Join me in a creative conversation with Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Colin Gilliam as we plan the upcoming Trend Summit 2020”

  1. Happy Hiller Says:

    Love your podcasts!

  2. Episode 553: Hitomi Gilliam and Gregor Lersch present the FREESIA Challenge, a new focus on Sustainable Floral Design Education - Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing Says:

    […] Episode 437: What makes a Trend? Join me in a creative conversation with Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise W… […]

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